– As delivered –
Statement by H.E. Mrs. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly
Delivered by Ambassador Yanerit Morgan, Deputy Chef de Cabinet to the President of the General Assembly
3 July 2019
I am honoured to deliver this statement on behalf of Her Excellency, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, President of the General Assembly.
After more than three months of extensive consultations, I am pleased to address again this intergovernmental process aimed at enhancing synergies and coherence, and reducing overlap in the agendas of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and their subsidiary bodies, in light of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Let me begin by reiterating my immense gratitude to Ambassador Lopes De Jesus Pires of Timor-Leste, and Ambassador Chatardová of the Czech Republic for the commitment and hard work they have put in from the very first day of their appointment as co-facilitators.
Let me also express my deep appreciation to you all, for your active engagement. It is excellent that delegations have taken ownership of this important intergovernmental process, and I am encouraged by your dedication to having open and inclusive deliberations.
In addition, I must recognize and commend Member States’ efforts during this session to rationalize the work of the Main Committees of the General Assembly, and to improve existing frameworks and working methods.
And I must praise the UN Secretariat staff for their consistent, high-quality support to Member States, including through the provision of technical assistance, notes and analysis. Thank you.
As I have stated previously, the goal of alignment is not merely something that is “nice to have”. It is not merely an internal bureaucratic process. It is a matter of critical importance – to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and to how our efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals are perceived by stakeholders and partners.
This is why I have put time and effort into supporting dialogue between Member States, using various platforms and forums: from convening a “Morning Minga” on this topic, to a meeting of the General Committee on “working methods” and the joint briefing organized in partnership with the President of ECOSOC.
I was heartened by your insightful contributions on these occasions, which clearly conveyed the broad agreement among Member States on the need to ensure greater complementarity and coherence. I address you now in the hope of maintaining political momentum – and because I want to assure you of my personal commitment.
I want to focus my remarks this morning on three key messages:
First: we cannot afford to lose this opportunity to align our agendas. It is now four years since the 2030 Agenda was adopted. This coming High-Level Week will be a crucial moment to raise our game dramatically on implementation, as we approach the “decade for delivery” of the SDGs. The time to act is now.
Failing to deliver on the alignment process for the fourth consecutive year is simply not an option. Just think of the message we would be sending on our ability to work together, and our readiness to compromise and find ways forward.
Second: we must build on the work previously undertaken – in particular the mapping exercise of all SDGs to the agendas of the GA, ECOSOC and their subsidiary bodies – with a clear focus on progress against deliverables – including the necessary timeframe and criteria that will enable us to address duplication and gaps.
I know there have been extensive informal discussions on this at the expert level, supported by comprehensive materials prepared by the co-facilitators and Secretariat.
This will be of tremendous help in ensuring we adopt a coherent and consistent approach, and avoid streamlining or adding agenda items and resolutions that do not add value to our efforts to implement the SDGs.
Of course, Member States have the right to initiate or remove agenda items and draft resolutions, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and the rules of procedure. Our alignment efforts, therefore, depend on Member States’ individual and collective initiatives and decisions.
And third and finally: let us capitalize on the current momentum on strengthening multilateralism at this turbulent time for the world. The overwhelming support of Member States towards renewed commitment and action has been in evident in many processes during this session, including on the 75th anniversary of the UN, and on preparations for the various summits and high-level events that will take place this September.
As you move forward in your deliberations, I urge you to keep in mind this bigger picture of crucial upcoming meetings in New York, as well as the wider context of the challenges we face. It is only by working collectively that we will make the process that we – and the world – so badly needs.
So let me close by emphasizing again that we cannot afford to let this crucial opportunity slip through our fingers. Let us seal the deal on alignment, and then focus our time and resources on making the SDGs a reality for all people, everywhere.